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Chelsea Green Blog

How-To Survive an Emergency: Your Ticket to Safety

Our hearts go out to those in Los Angeles. And for those who are concerned with your safety, all you need is a emergency plan, in case this happens again. Which we hope desperately it does not. But still, for your information: From the Huffington Post:
Guest Post by Matthew Stein, P.E., Author of When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability and Surviving the Long Emergency In light of the recent fires raging in California, it’s become clear: We need to prepare for emergencies. 72 HOUR GRAB AND RUN SURVIVAL KIT These short-term emergency kits should be readily accessible and cover the basic daily needs of your family for a period of at least 3 days. Please note that 3 days is a minimal time period and that you should have at least a 2-week supply of food stored in or around your home. You may purchase ready-made, 72-hour kits from various survival supply outlets, or you can put together your own. Large families should probably divide up the stores between several easily grabbed small backpacks or plastic containers. One advantage to building your own kits is that you get to choose foods that you like. Remember that all foods have some kind of shelf life. Rotate stores, and use them or lose them. Bug-infested, rancid, or rotten food doesn’t do anyone any good. Consider placing all of the following items in your 72-hour survival kit: • Portable radio, preferably one that works with dead or no batteries, such as by a hand crank or combination powered with solar cells (available through survival and surplus outlets). • First aid kit with first aid and survival handbooks (this book covers both). • Water, water purification chemicals, and /or purifying filter. Enough to provide 1 gallon per person per day (see Chapter 5). Retort (foil) pouches can handle freezing in a car trunk, but most other water containers can’t handle freezing without the potential for bursting. Three gallons per person is heavy (24 lb), so I strongly suggest that you include a water filter and water treatment chemicals. I suggest pump-type backcountry filters, such as those made by Katadyn or MSR, that are rated to filter out all bacteria and have a carbon core to remove toxic chemicals. Also, supplement your filter(s) with purifying iodine crystals (or other chemicals), such as a “Polar Pure” water purification kit, to kill all viruses. Pump filters that are rated for virus removal have tiny pore sizes and tend to clog quickly (a clogged filter is worthless). Sports bottle-type purifying water filters are simple, reliable, compact, and inexpensive, but clog easier and won’t purify nearly as many gallons of water as the pump-type filters. • Waterproof and windproof matches in a waterproof container, and a utility-type butane (large, with extended tip) lighter. • Wool or pile blankets (avoid cotton) because they are warm when wet, or a sleeping bag. Also, a heat-reflective, waterproof “space blanket.” Fiber-pile, mountaineering-quality sleeping bags are great, if you have the space (avoid down sleeping bags, because they are worthless if wet).

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• Flashlight with spare batteries, or a solar recharge flashlight. I highly recommend that you purchase a headlamp with LED bulbs. Headlamps leave your hands free to carry things, or work on things. LED bulbs use a fraction of the power, are far more shock resistant, and last far longer than traditional light bulbs, so your batteries last many times longer. • Candles (useful for lighting fires with damp wood) and light sticks (emergency light when nothing else works or explosive gases are present). [...]
Read the entire article here.


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